City Invocation Policy Back Under Fire

By: Tim Ciesco Email
By: Tim Ciesco Email

The controversy surrounding the Grand Junction City Council's invocation policy may not be over.

During Monday night's City Council meeting, members of the Western Colorado Atheists and Free Thinkers told council members while they appreciated the city's efforts to work with them on the issue, they believe there are "still deficiencies" in the current policy.

They argued it still violated Constitutional rights because invocators are still allowed to use the names of deities and make other religious references during the short speech that takes place at the beginning of each meeting.

They also felt the city was not doing enough to include people outside the religious sector in the process.

City Manager Laurie Kadrich says she met with the group and agrees that the city has not been doing an adequate job advertising the opportunity with individuals not affiliated with any religious organizations. She says the city will launch a more balanced campaign to do that in the near future.

However, both she and Council Members agreed that the current policy, which has been in place for less than a year, needs to be given more time before any other changes, like requiring non-sectarian speeches, would be made.

The city says since the adoption of the new policy, 8 pastors have made invocations, and 5 times a simple moment of silence has been observed.

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